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‘Manassas Pete’ talks rock n’ roll, candles and inspiration

Manassas native Pete Evick – known by many as ‘Manassas Pete’, has had an interesting assortment of life experiences.

The Stonewall Jackson High School graduate has worked with rockstar Bret Michaels for the last 10 years as his lead guitarist, and co-writer and producer of Michael’s last two records.

“I was a huge fan of Poison growing up, and my band was his opening act for a tour, and we got to be buddies then. And then he invited me to be his guitar player and my band to be his band – and we’ve just seen the world,” said Evick.

Despite living the rockstar lifestyle, Evick decided early on that he wanted to keep living in Manassas, and raise his family there.

“Was born and raised [in Manassas] and still live here to this day. Manassas – it’s always been my home – it’s where I grew up. And even when I raised my kids – I’ve been in the music business my entire life…and I spent a lot of time in New York, and some time in [Los Angeles] but I never wanted to go live that life. I lived the life in a small town and then once I had kids, I wanted them to have that same kind of life too,” Evick commented.

During his music career, he stumbled on to candle making, and began his own company – Shining Sol Candle Company – which manufactures products in Virginia.

“Being a musician, my life has been loud. And we were off tour a little bit, and I was taking a break…I spent a lot of time in Arizona [for music]…and in Arizona they put candles in their fireplace instead of lighting fires…then I happened to go to a candle store and buy a candle that was supposed to smell like a fireplace. And I had never had a hobby in my entire life aside from music…and I just started thinking about if I could make one of those…and finally I was doing something quiet, peaceful,” Evick said.

Evick’s most recent adventure has been writing a book about his life experience, following a personal tragedy, titled ‘The Moments That Make Us.’

“Most musicians at some point in their life, I think, tend to write a book. With such an interesting life you live, you manage to pick up an amazing amount of stories. I started writing this book when I was forced with the fact that my family was going to split up – me and my wife were getting a divorce and had two kids. The book was originally a collection of thoughts and fears about what was going to happen with my children…but after writing, I realized I had written a book that was much more inspiring,” said Evick.

Evick still performs and tours with Michaels, and runs Shining Sol Candle Company.

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